Environmental News Network

  • The light-sensing molecules in plants came from ancient algae
    The light-sensing molecules that tell plants whether to germinate, when to flower and which direction to grow were inherited millions of years ago from ancient algae, finds a new study from Duke University.The findings are some of the strongest evidence yet refuting the prevailing idea that the ancestors of early plants got the red light sensors that helped them move from water to land by engulfing light-sensing bacteria, the researchers say. 
  • Arctic ice growth doesn't disprove climate change
    New data shows that in 2013 Arctic ice actually grew rather than retreating as climate change models had predicted. Far from proving climate change is a myth or that ice retreat has ended, as skeptics are now claiming, this reveals something much more interesting about our warming climate.
  • New MIT study on the historical climate of the American West
    All around the deserts of Utah, Nevada, southern Oregon, and eastern California, ancient shorelines line the hillsides above dry valley floors, like bathtub rings — remnants of the lakes once found throughout the region. Even as the ice sheets retreated at the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the region remained much wetter than it is today. The earliest settlers of the region are likely to have encountered a verdant landscape of springs and wetlands.So just when and why did today’s desert West dry out?
  • Ocean acidification is impacting phytoplankton now
    Scientists are warning that ocean acidification is impacting microorganisms in our ocean known as phytoplankton and, as they pay a key role in ocean habitats, any future loss or change in species numbers could impact marine life in a big way.Ocean acidification isn’t always mentioned in conjunction with phytoplankton blooms, and the U.S. Government has been slow to link the two, but MIT researchers say acidification of our oceans could impact phytoplankton in a big way, and that will be bad news for our marine life.
  • Ways to improve indoor air quality
    Indoor air quality isn’t something most people think about, but breathing clean air can and does impact out health. Here’s why paying attention to the air you breathe indoors is so important and how to then go about improving it. Vacuum More OftenVacuuming more often will help keep dust at bay, but many vacuums also come with a filter system which can remove mold, pollen, and other air pollutants. Aim to vacuum at least once a week, twice if you live with animals.
  • Lake Tahoe's deep blue color explained
    Lake Tahoe's iconic blueness is more strongly related to the lake's algal concentration than to its clarity, according to research in "Tahoe: State of the Lake Report 2015," released today by the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) of the University of California, Davis. The lower the algal concentration, the bluer the lake. Data from a research buoy in the lake, owned and operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, enabled Shohei Watanabe, a postdoctoral researcher at TERC, to create a Blueness Index that quantified Lake Tahoe's color for the first time.The assumption that lake clarity is tied to blueness has driven advocacy and management efforts in the Lake Tahoe Basin for decades. But Watanabe's research showed that at times of the year when the lake's clarity increases, its blueness decreases, and vice versa. 
  • Mangroves help protect against sea level rise
    Mangrove forests could play a crucial role in protecting coastal areas from sea level rise caused by climate change, according to new research involving the University of Southampton.

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